Improvements in Future NetBeans' Editor (Targeted for 6.0)

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My colleague Jan Lahoda started to blog about the upcoming features of the NetBeans Editor in version 6.0 (that's one version after 5.5 which is scheduled for October 2006). NetBeans 6.0 will be available during next year (the schedule is unclear yet) and creating a more productive editor is one of the main goals. For that reason the infrastructure is being rewritten - this project is under development for many months and some of the new features are already available in form of a prototype. Jan's post discusses the first set of new features which include improved syntax coloring both for java sources and for javadoc.

There's really a lot to look forward - I've seen the prototype and it's all about adding intelligent features which help you code faster or read code faster. Thanks to the new infrastructure it will be possible to do things which were almost impossible before - better formatting, faster code completion, more hints and intelligent templates... and who knows, perhaps incremental compilation will be there as well... let 6.0 surprise us :)

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Comments ( 10 )
  • jeremiah johnson Monday, June 19, 2006
    hah, yes! an incremental compiler. that \*would\* be cool... however I know that one of Sun's major complaints of Eclipse is the non-standard compiler.
    Which means perhaps we should be looking for an incremental compiler in Java 7.0?
    I might pick on NetBeans every once in a while, but I really dig Java and the competition between Eclipse and NetBeans is continually making both IDEs better.
  • Roumen Monday, June 19, 2006
    Yep, I think this competition bring lots of good stuff... we really have to think how to make developers happy :)
  • Leon Chiver Monday, June 19, 2006
    Nice to hear something about those cool upcoming features. I knew retouche only from some blogs, but there were no further details. You mention something about a prototype. Can it be built from CVS?
  • Lukas Monday, June 19, 2006
    Do you remember - http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/roumen?entry=sun_bloggers_us_should_avoid
  • Roumen Monday, June 19, 2006
    Leon: AFAIK, not yet, last I heard it should be commited to trunk during next couple of months. I think the problem is that it breaks a lot of stuff because it is incompatible with JMI/MDR.

    Lukas: yes, I do remember. My post adds additional information, such as when these features will be available, that we are rewriting the infrastructure, etc. Besides that I am not always right and I don't always do things I tell others they should do :) Don't take me too seriously, it's dangerous.
  • Cautiously avoiding emacs flames... Monday, June 19, 2006
    I think it would be great to have vi key bindings

    than leave the IDE to use an external editor such as


    I'm sorry if this is trivial, but it's important to me.


  • Roumen Monday, June 19, 2006
    It's hard to do because of vi's modes. Emacs keybindings were much easier ;) But somebody can always write a plug-in, you know...
  • guest Tuesday, June 20, 2006
    Yes, please vi-bindings would be very,very nice.
    I now use netbeans for debugging/profiling and I edit with vim.
    I thought the editor team was working on vi-bindings. But I guess they are not.
  • Roumen Tuesday, June 20, 2006
    AFAIK they started to work on it and found out it's really hard. Why can't some vi/vim user contribute? :)
  • Dominique Friday, June 23, 2006

    I feel the lack of incremental compilation as a STRONG NetBeans drawback for coding purposes (but other stuff like Matisse, Profiler... look cooler).

    My opinion is that such feature should be a MUST-HAVE for all IDEs I use. Not having such feature breaks the flow and leads me to be disturbed too much.

    I recently give NetBeans a try, importing the source files of a Struts project and wanted to recode it into a JSF one, while learning the first bits of JSF. I have cut the Struts libs, and compiled the code. Then, of coure, I have got errors everywhere. I found ANT errors too much verbose, not enough synthetic. Then, I have read 10 lines of errors, corrected the 10 first errors in the code, and then, I have compiled, and I repeated this cycle: read-correct-compile while waiting during compilation (because I just wanted to perform modifications steps by steps). But it's so much boring to wait for compilation... So, I use other IDEs for pure coding purposes.

    I have now a powerful computer, and I want the IDE I use to take into account every percent of my CPU to improve my coding speed.

    I have some other coding-related remarks. 4 lines are printed into the 'output' console for an error: then, I have got a too much long error list. I would rather prefer one line with 4 columns and the possibility to sort error columns. ANT error reporting seems also to be limited out of the box to 100 errors. Why ? For usual projects, ANT is too low-level (as far as I can avoid its use, I am happy). Finally, there is no flag associated with each file into the file hierarchy (of the 'Projects' panel) to have a quick view about what file is erroneous and what file is OK.

    If NetBeans will improve with v6.0 in coding area, it might be worth to switch.

    Sure, NetBeans is evolving the right way :-)

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